Earlier this week, the President signed a two-year bipartisan budget deal that changes the premium and deductible amounts for Medicare Part B plans. ESRD patients whose Medicare premiums are not deducted from their Social Security checks were initially facing a premium increase of 50 percent to $159 a month, but now will pay around $120 a month. The lower rate was established through a loan from the Treasury Department to the Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund. The difference will be made up through monthly $3 repayment fees added onto beneficiaries’ premiums.
The new rate also applies to patients who are under 65 and are not receiving disability benefits, as well as new ESRD patients and retirees. Part B annual deductibles will be $167, down from the previously proposed $223. The budget deal also prevents a 20 percent cut in Social Security benefits.